Ex-cop Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of George Floyd in the events that led to his death. Chauvin had already been convicted of murder and manslaughter.

On Wednesday, Chauvin appeared in court for his change of plea hearing. The former officer pleaded guilty to federal charges, which include two counts of violating the civil rights of Floyd, who died on May 25, 2020 while being apprehended and restrained by Chauvin.

The charges contended that Chauvin failed to uphold Floyd’s rights as he knelt on his neck while the prone man was handcuffed and not resisting arrest, and that he failed to provide medical attention.

It is alleged that Floyd was subjected to unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer, which continued even after Floyd became unresponsive. The charges also stated that Chauvin displayed “deliberate indifference” to Floyd’s “serious medical needs.”

Chauvin has already been sentenced to over 22 years in prison for Floyd’s death.

The former cop has also pleaded guilty to violating the rights of a then-14-year-old boy during a 2017 arrest as part of a plea deal. He is charged with depriving the boy, whom he described as 6-foot-2 and about 240 pounds, of his right to be free of unreasonable force. The officer held the boy by the throat and hit him with a flashlight before pressing his knee against the boy’s neck and upper back.

The 2017 arrest is one of a number of cases filed with the state court noting Chauvin’s repetitive use of neck or head and upper body restraints. Prosecutors claim he used the technique on seven occasions dating back to 2014 and that, in four cases, the restraints went too far and “beyond the point when such force was needed under the circumstances.”

Chauvin’s plea means he will not face a federal trial which was due to start in January. Three other former officers – Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao – are still expected to face federal charges in January in connection to Floyd’s death.